Do specialty priests follow the same rules? I was under the impression that technically they're no more a cleric than a druid is so unless followers are granted in their specialty priest powers they don't receive them or is that being a bit mean?
How much distinction do you make between clerics and specialty priests?
In my mind, specialty priests follow the same XP tables, but need +10% extra, in order to get the 'special' powers listed in "From the Ashes." In my campaign, specialty priests are held to a 'higher standard' within the clergy they serve, much in the same way that paladins are held to a higher code. Each specialty priest has his/her main focus or primary sphere of interest based on the Power followed, and embodies or promotes that aspect more than any other.
For instance, a specialty priest of Heironeous might champion Law over any other aspect of the Archpaladin, striving to that tenet above any other as a primary focus (but NOT neglecting the others...). A specialty priest of Pelor might concentrate on serving the needs of the impoverished while another may attempt to smite out the undead as perversions of light and goodness.
This is just how specialty priests are handled in my campaign.
I've been using the XP progression chart for specialty priests used in the the Forgottem Realms book, Faiths & Avatars. In there they advance like a druid and seem to be treated much like a sub-class of their own rather than a facet of the cleric.
I'm too lazy to find the source right now, but Carl Sargent strongly urged DM's to abandon clerics and enrich their GH campaigns with specialty priests (with the exception of some orc and 1/2 orc clerics of Iuz). It wasn't until later products adopted FR's F&A template that DM's were encouraged to use both again.
Before you give away followers or slap an XP penalty on priests, carefully consider the power creep in 2e and which rules you're using. In early products (PHBR3, Legend & Lore, GH Adventures), specialty priests were way weaker than clerics and druids. Carl Sargent found a good balance in FtA and DMGR4. FR's F&A upped the ante again for everything that came after and Sean Reynolds' GH priests in TSB and elsewhere were much much more powerful.
Also remember that druids (AKA specialty priests) get followers too, just more quality than quantity -- a trio of mid-level spellcasters with d8 hit dice are no joke.
IMO, there's no reason most specialty priests shouldn't get followers.
1) clerics get all armor, tons of spheres, and turn undead. A lot of specialty priests are still weaker than 1e clerics, giving them followers won't unbalance anything.
2) priests and clerics all need to build and staff strongholds, sanctuaries, and temples. Religions are communal.
3) the only PC's that don't get followers are insular wizards and crusading paladins. Fighters, rangers, clerics, druids, thieves, and bards get 'em, let specialty priests have 'em too.
4) FR sucks. Ignore F&A.
Last edited by vestcoat on Sat Mar 17, 2018 3:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
What Vestcoat said. I do not penalize specialty priests on XP as they are generally weaker than generic clerics. Many people don't use generic clerics at all, preferring specialty priests that better serve in differentiating the faiths. It is a lot better than, "How do you know he's a cleric of Tritherion and not St. Cuthbert?" "He's wearing a blue cloak." Also, it keeps holy casters from being granted spells that they shouldn't be granted by their deity. "Did that cleric of Procan, the sea god, just flamestrike somebody?!" I do use clerics too, but I usually reserve them for filling the role of what I call a pantheistic priest - one who serves a whole pantheon rather than just one god (i.e. the perform services for all of their pantheon's gods on the various holy days, respect/fear them all, and see that the faithful do the same). These sorts of priests are not very common, and I have not had one be a PC yet.
I give specialty priests followers as usual, because why wouldn't you want to give a PC specialty priest a whole flock of people who they will now be responsible for? That won't make for any trouble at all, will it? _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
I like the pantheistic cleric idea that Cebrion uses and the idea of only permitting speciality priests for specific deities. And you're right - allowing them to have followers does open up lots of fun opportunities!
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